SAWs – Servants at Work

Building Freedom One Ramp at a Time

by Church Health Reader Editors

For more than two years Nora O’Bannon was closed in her house, unable to navigate her wheelchair down the front steps. In order for Nora to leave, her grandson would physically carry her down the steps from her home. “Being closed in,” she says, “really—it was an awful feeling.”

Enter SAWs, or Servants at Work, a ministry in Indianapolis, Indiana that builds ramps for people who would otherwise be trapped by their financial circumstances and their physical challenges. SAWs provides high-quality, removable and reusable wooden wheelchair ramps for the elderly, disabled and infirm. First, they identify individuals through social agencies who are financially unable to afford a ramp. Then volunteers from local churches survey the project and develop a construction plan. Pre-fab building is done on the grounds of Second Presbyterian Church on Wednesday and Thursday mornings, with the primary build on Saturdays. A finishing crew comes early in the following week to complete the ramp and install it at the home.

As Nora watched the volunteers build the ramp, she said it felt like Christmas and she got to peep at Santa. Then, as she wheeled down the completed ramp to visit a friend, she stated, “It’s the greatest blessing I’ve received. I love being able to do this. I feel as if I am running in the Olympics!”

For more information about SAWs visit:

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